Qualifying is over. All of the practice laps have been run. This is it. Let’s make some picks.
Rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day.
High Price Salary
Kevin Harvick ($11,000) – I’m just going to leave this right here, that is all!
Brad Keselowski ($10,600) – BK starts in the 4th spot and consistently ran in the top 3 during practice. Brad has a win at New Hampshire and will be looking to replicate his success as every race becomes more important. Look for BK to be aggressive and try to lead some laps this week.
Jimmie Johnson ($9,600) – This is the Chase, which means this is where Jimmie shines. Hendrick has had a rough 2nd half of the season, but Jimmie looks to have it all figured out in practice. With all practice runs in the top 5 and qualifying in the 5th spot, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 48 in victory lane this week.
Mid Price Salary
Kyle Larson ($8,200) – Larson has raced at NHMS 3 times and has been top 5 2 out of 3 times. Larson will roll off in the 6th spot and practiced about the same. His aggressive style of driving fits this track and I think he has a great shot to replicate his first 2 races at New Hampshire.
Clint Bowyer ($7,500) – Bowyer needs a strong showing to make his way into the contender round. With 2 wins and over 500 laps led, $7,500 is a great price for Clint. Bowyer will start in the 26th position and will need to find speed from practice, but is definitely set up for some place differential points this week.
Ryan Newman ($7,400) – The Rocket Man also has 2 wins at NHMS. Ryan surprised us all with his Chase performance last year and looks to be trying to do the same this year. Newman starts in the 9th position and will probably stay there all race. The Rocket Man looks to be the best of the mid-tier plays this week.
Low Price Salary
Tony Stewart ($6,900) – I know what you’re thinking, never Tony Stewart. Well NHMS has been Stewart’s playground over his career. He boasts the 2nd highest driver rating amongst active drivers and has 2 wins at the track since 2005. By starting in the 27th spot, there is a lot of positive place differential potential there. I look for him to sneak into the top 20 today.
- Aric Almirola ($6,600)* – I worry he may have qualified to high, but Almirola has consistently been in the top 15 this year. He will start in the 15th spot and has nothing to lose as he tries for victory lane. I wish he would have qualified in the 20s, but at his price he could be a sneaky play.
Paul Menard ($6,500) – Just like some of the other guys listed, Menard needs a strong performance. Menard will start in the 20th spot and practiced in about the same position. If Menard wants to keep moving in the Chase he will need at least a top 15. Look for the Menard’s driver to be aggressive today as he tries to work his way to the front.
Long Shot Value Driver
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($5,600 ) – I know what you are thinking….Wrecky, are you serious? Yes, I am serious. Ricky starts in the 14th spot and has the potential to stay there or even crack the top 10. I will warn you this is a serious punt pick as Stenhouse practiced poorly, but a mid-tier driver at a bottom barrel price is attractive nonetheless.